Why Do Soccer Players Exchange Jerseys? 2022

After a game, soccer players exchange jerseys to signify sportsmanship and respect between two players.

Exchanging jerseys between soccer players is as old as the sport itself. I’ve been watching soccer all through my life, and I can’t remember a time when exchanging jerseys between players did not exist.

Most people have a different opinion regarding players exchanging jerseys. Some think it is a sign of respect, while others argue it’s a player’s way of getting a souvenir from their mentor. Whichever, in this article, we’ll explain why soccer players exchange jerseys.

Why Do Soccer Players Exchange Jerseys?

The famous jersey exchange between players started in 1931 in Paris, when France played against England, who was years ahead of any team in the world. After all, professional soccer can be argued to have started in Great Britain.

Luckily and unexpectedly for the French players, they were able to trash England with a final score of 5 -2 in that match. Mind you, the final result was unexpected, seeing as England was the better side and France was the underdog.

The French players were clearly overjoyed and needed some time to show their respect to the British players. So they asked British players to swap jerseys with them. That’s how the tradition of swapping jerseys started.

But in modern soccer, exchanging jerseys between players has gone far from the “showing respect” theory. I’ll give other reasons why soccer players exchange jerseys below.

Why Do Soccer Players Exchange Jerseys? [Precise Detail]

Sign Of Respect

This is arguably the main reason why the tradition started in the first place. Most soccer players often have a player they look up to, the player that kind of shaped the way they play soccer.

Whenever players play against people they have a lot of respect for, they usually ask for their jerseys to show respect to them.

Another reason could be that, in a final match, probably the UEFA Champions League or FIFA World Cup finals. As we all know, there will only be a single winner between both teams that made it to the finals.

The winner will choose to exchange jerseys with the team that loses, to show that they were a worthy opponent.

Players Like To Keep Souvenir

Some players often exchange jerseys with other players to keep the souvenirs of famous and popular players. Some players will also use it to remember every worthy player they’ve played against throughout their career.

To Encourage Young Players

Older players can exchange with a newbie or young player to encourage him and give him a bit of self-encouragement.

Can Players Exchange Jerseys At Any Time?

No, exchanging jerseys even though it’s a tradition in soccer is not an inherent aspect of soccer. In fact, it’s not recognized by the FIFA body as a rule in soccer.

Players cannot exchange jerseys at any time. Basically, jerseys cannot be exchanged as long as the game is still on. If a player attempts to exchange jerseys while the game is still going on, he will be given a yellow card.

If unlikely, he already has an outstanding yellow card, then he will automatically send off the game.

In that aspect, players are also not allowed to take off their shirts while celebrating a goal unless it’s injury time. Taking off your shirts while celebrating in-game time is a yellow card offense.

Do Soccer Players Swap Jerseys With Their Teammates On The Pitch?

No, it is uncommon to see players of the same team asking each other to exchange jerseys. If a player wants a teammate’s jerseys, he could ask him while they are in the dressing room or during training.

However, a player can ask for a teammate’s jersey if they play for a different national team. For example, Kylian Mbappe cannot ask for Lionel Messi’s club jersey, as they play for the same team.

However, when they are on international duties, Kylian Mbappe, who is a French player, could ask Messi, who is an Argentina player, for his jersey.

How Do Soccer Players Ask For Their Jersey?

There is no rule or guidance on when or how soccer players are excepted to ask for a soccer player’s jersey.

However, most of the time, players often ask for jerseys before the game starts, probably during warm-ups or when they are lining up in the tunnel to go into the pitch.

Players could also wait till the match is over, before asking a player for their match. Maybe the player was impressive throughout the match, or he was wrongly punished for an offense, or he sustained an injury that will take him out for weeks.

Ultimately, exchanging jerseys is a sign of respect.

What Happens If Two Players Want The Same Jersey?

In all my years of watching soccer, I’ve only seen this happen once, and it definitely rarely happens. However, if two players want the same jersey, which will be given to one of the two players.

The owner of the jersey can decide who out of the two to give the jersey to. For example, if he has played more against one of the players, he should give it to the player he has played more.

He could also give it to the oldest of the two players.

For example, if Kylian Mbappe and Neymar jr want Messi’s jersey. Out of the two, Neymar is older than Mbappe and of course, Messi has more interaction with Neymar than with Mbappe.


Can Soccer Players Refuse To Exchange Jerseys?

Of course, a player can refuse to exchange a jersey with another player. There’s no rule that mandates that a player should exchange their jersey.

There are many situations that could arise to make players refuse to exchange jerseys. It could be that the player has previously promised his jersey to another player or to a fan.

Most of the time, we’ve seen a player give his jersey to a fan maybe a child or adult, also the player could wish to donate his jersey to charity.

Some players on the other hand, simply disagree with the idea of exchanging jerseys and some have personal reasons against exchanging jerseys.

What Do Players Do With The Exchanged Jersey?

Players keep the exchanged jersey as a souvenir in their personal collection as a reminder of all the matches they’ve played in their careers.

Also players, often donate all the exchange jerseys to charities or do a fundraising event to raise money for an organization or a person.

Do Soccer Players Wear New Jerseys For Every Match?

Not all leagues can afford to make or buy new jerseys for their players per match. But in top-flight leagues, or should I say, top-flight clubs give their players new jerseys for every match.

In fact, for every match, they provide two jerseys per player, if he needs to change a jersey because it’s torn or dirty.

Clubs like PSG, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, and others often do this a lot. But teams from smaller leagues cannot afford the luxury of giving players new jerseys per match.

Do Premier League Players Wash Their Jerseys?

Yes, after playing a match and the player didn’t exchange or gift a fan his jersey, he could wash. However, he can’t wear it again, because his club will provide him with another one for the next match.

Do Soccer Players Wear New Kits For Every Game?

Yes, soccer players in the top-flight leagues like the Premier League get new kits for every match, and each player is given at least two jerseys for each match.

Do Soccer Players Pay For Their Own Jersey?

No, the club they play for is responsible for providing players with jerseys and kits.

However, if you play for a team in the lower division, which doesn’t make much money, exchanging jerseys is not encouraged. But if you want to swap jerseys with another player, you’d have to get another one with your own money.

Do Soccer Clubs Make Money By Selling Players’ Jerseys?

Yes, soccer clubs make money off the sale of players’ jerseys. However, contrary to popular opinion, clubs do not make most of the proceeds from the sale of players’ jerseys.

The provider of the jersey, such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Puma, makes most of the money made from the sales of the jersey. The club usually has about 7.5%, or at most, 15% of the proceeds.

For example, Nike produces Chelsea’s jerseys. Imagine they sold a million of Chelsea’s jerseys at a price of £80. Let’s say the club makes 20% off every sale, which means Chelsea will make £16 million for the proceeds of a million sale.

What Happens To The Used Kits Of Soccer Players?

Used kits by soccer players are mostly donated to charity organizations. However, they can also be taken home by the players if they don’t wish to donate them out.

If the match is special or important to the players, they can keep it and auction it off after retirement.

Why Can’t Soccer Players Remove Their Jerseys If The Game Is Still On?

Removing shirts while the game is still on is an offense and is considered bad behavior and bad sportsmanship. Any soccer player who engages in such a habit will be penalized or sent off the game.

Can Soccer Players Wear Jewellery On The Pitch?

No, soccer players are not allowed to wear any form of jewelry or object that can harm other players. An official checks players before going on the pitch.

Players are also not allowed to have long nails or fix artificial nails to the pitch.


Why Do Soccer Players Wear Jackets After Being Substituted?

Soccer players wear jackets after being substituted because of their comfort. They burn energy while on the pitch, which makes them warm, and the sideline is usually cold.

And also, they wear jackets so that they won’t be mistaken for players on the pitch.

Do Players Get Money From Jerseys Sales?

No, the money made from the sales of jerseys is majorly owned by the company that supplies the club with wares. Soccer clubs make up almost 15 percent of sales.

Do Soccer Players Change Jerseys At Halftime?

It depends on the player. If the jersey is still clean, he might choose not to change it. But if it’s dirty or torn, he has to change it.

However, some players will change it at halftime simply because they do not like wet jerseys.

Do Soccer Players Choose Their Jersey Number?

Yes, players are charged with choosing their jersey number. However, there are some exceptions, if another player has already used the number in the team, the player has to settle for another number.

Is Exchanging Jersey Compulsory?

No, it is not mandatory. A player can choose not to exchange his jersey with another player.

Can A Coach Be Given A Red Card?

Yes, a referee can give a coach a red card, if he’s abusive or insulting the referee



Swapping jerseys is as old as the sport itself. However, players are not obligated to exchange their jerseys just because a player requested it.

Also, swapping the jersey while the game is still on is a yellow card offense, and if done multiple times, the referee can send the player off the pitch.

Also, note that you have to ask a player for their jersey before the game starts. You can either ask them during warm-up or when players are lining up in the tunnel.


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